Never mind the weather

Name this beer! (No, they haven’t named it already.)

Yes, I’m still here. I’ve been working on one very long post for the last few nights – it’ll be great when it’s finished. I’m also planning to enter Zak’s competition – but you can’t see that one till it’s finished either.

In the mean time, here’s another compy you might want to have a crack at, also closing on Friday. This also marks a personal milestone: after the first beer I’ve been sent to review, here’s my first press release. (On reflection the beer was more fun.) You don’t get any of this stuff out in the general-purpose blogosphere, I tell you.

Butlins is launching a premium real ale as part of its 75th birthday celebrations and is challenging the nation to brew up an appropriate name for the beer.

The birthday beer will be produced by world famous brewery Marston’s in the home of British Brewing, Burton-on-Trent, and will be available in bottles and on draft [sic] at the three Butlins beachside resorts.

Said Butlins MD Richard Bates: “Whoever names our beer will become part of Butlins history, because both their name and the beer’s name will appear on the label together.
And who better to bottle our heritage, than the Great British public!”

The Butlins Beer is a premium English pale ale, described by the brewers as “golden, zesty and hoppy”.

The winner will pull the first pint at a celebratory event at Butlins, be treated to a VIP break on resort – and also enjoy a VIP visit to The Marston’s Brewery, known as ‘the Cathedral of Brewing’, to witness the creation of their new brew.

Visit www. butlins. com/ beer for more information or email your name suggestion to realale @ butlins.com by 26 November 2010, providing your full name, age, address and telephone number.

So there you go.

I’ve got slightly mixed feelings about this story. On one hand, the association with a company whose image is still stuck in the 1950s – i.e. before the majority of the population was born – surely can’t be much help in pitching real ale to the young, edgy, brand-aware crowd; viewed from the perspective of the average Style supplement, it could almost be calculated to make real ale look like an old man’s drink. On the other hand, an awful lot of people don’t see the world through Style supplements; an awful lot of people don’t drink real ale; and an awful lot of people pass through Butlin’s in Bognor, Minehead and Skegness. Never mind the image, feel the footfall, in other words.

On balance I think this is the main thing. This initiative is going to put what will hopefully be a pretty decent real ale in front of a lot of people who don’t currently drink it, in a setting where they’ll have ample opportunities to acquire the taste. It’s going to be an ale with a very ordinary image – but I think we sometimes forget that an ale with an ordinary image would actually be a very good thing. Good one, Butlin’s (and Marston’s).

The competition closes on Friday, so there’s still plenty of time to get your name in – have at it. (But you can’t have the obvious one, because I’ve just suggested it.)

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